Spring Strawberry Care
It is hard to imagine a garden without strawberries. It not only pleases with delicious berries, but also gives its carpet bloom a unique charm to the surrounding space. To grow it and get a plentiful harvest, it requires some experience and knowledge. Learn the features of berry cultivation during the spring months, because it is during this period of time that the foundation of the future crop is laid.
Features of strawberry care in the spring
Agrotechnical manipulations for the cultivation of strawberries are not difficult, but require timely execution. After the snow melts, as soon as the earth dries out, the first steps are taken to care for the plantings.
Did you know? Strawberry — the only berry whose seeds (about 200 pcs.) are not inside but outside the fruit.
The main complex of performed procedures:
- site cleaning - collecting mulch, removing trash, etc .;
- cleansing plantings - pruning mustache, old leaves;
- replanting of old bushes - thinning, site renewal;
- watering - regular and timely;
- loosening - in row-spacings and rows;
- adding fertilizers (top dressing);
- prevention from pests and diseases;
- mulching landings.
Strawberry Care Dates in Different Regions
The timing of spring activities to care for strawberry plantations mainly depends on the region of growth of this species. The climatic conditions of different territories differ significantly from each other, so the start of spring work in each zone occurs at a certain hour:
- southern areas - the first decade of March;
- western, eastern zones - from late March to early April;
- northern territories - from the second half of April to mid-May.
Due to changes in natural phenomena, the time for planned affairs may shift, but their sequence remains the same. After winter awakening, berry bushes need increased supervision. There are some nuances of growing this product, on which you need to focus your attention.
How to care for strawberries
To obtain a generous and high-quality crop, it is necessary to properly maintain strawberry plantings: to provide plants with full dressing, watering, protection from pests and diseases, and to carry out a number of additional work. You also need to know how to prepare your landing gear for landing on another square.
Landing cleaning and pruning
After the winter, as soon as the snow falls and the daytime air temperature reaches + 5 ° С, the winter shelter is removed (if it was used). For hardening of plants, the covering material is first removed for several hours a day, gradually increasing the time interval every day. Only after 3-4 days it is completely removed. If plant materials (lapnik, branches, straw, hay, sawdust, etc.) were used as insulation, they are also removed.
Next, remove the old mulch. Removing the mulched soil with a layer of 3 cm will simultaneously remove pests wintering there, and will also make it possible to better warm the sun near the plant with the sun. Cutting of bushes is done to the outlet of young green leaves. Defective and dried leaf foliage, long-standing antennae and peduncles are cut with disinfected garden shears or secateurs.It is dangerous to pick off unsuitable material, since it damages the core and root system of the bush, the plant may die.When the stands are thickened, young sockets are removed. Weeds and dead strawberry bushes to be eliminated. Garden rake clean the site. Taking preventive measures to control pests and diseases, after harvesting, all natural waste is burnt off-site.
Video: spring strawberry pruning
Replanting old strawberry bushes in spring
In order to extend the fruiting period, adult bushes are planted in a new place. Usually they are planted where frozen or dried plants were removed to fill the voids and restore the density of plantings. Fresh beds are planted to rejuvenate plantings. In autumn, strawberry seedlings form a strong, strong root structure, so the spring transplant is considered optimal.
Important! In one place, garden strawberries grow 3-4 years with an abundant yield of crops, then the productivity of the crop decreases, it needs to be transferred to another site.
The process for this activity is as follows:
- They dig an old mother bush together with a lump of earth, which they remove.
- Carefully separate the bushes from the uterine bush; each of them should have a strong root system with a length of 8-10 cm and its growth point (outlet) with 3 healthy leaves.
- The planting material is treated with a weak solution of potassium permanganate or any growth stimulator.
- Prepare a hole for planting (20–25 cm deep), fertilizing the soil with humus, peat, ash or other nitrogen fertilizer, pour water.
- Plant the plant in a hole and fill it with earth, making sure that the core (growth point) is located at the height of the earth's surface. Lightly compact the soil.
- After planting a bush, watering is done.
Watering Strawberry Plantings
The culture has a superficial root system, which extends into the soil only 20–30 cm, which prevents the plant from extracting water from deeper, moist layers. The lack of fluid negatively affects the vegetation of seedlings. After the snow melt, the soil has a good saturation with moisture, so there is no need for watering.
With the arrival of spring heat, moisture evaporates quite quickly and there is a need for watering plants, which is carried out regularly, as the soil dries up - about 1 time per week. The need for plants for irrigation will help determine the visual inspection of bushes in the afternoon. If strawberry leaves are sluggish, their edges are wrapped inward, then this is a visible sign of drying out of the soil and the reason for emergency watering of the plantings.
Proper care and watering are carried out:
- in the spring, in dry weather, 1 time in 6-7 days;
- water at room temperature;
- at a flow rate of water per bush - about 0.5–1 l;
- with a depth of soil moisture after irrigation - at least 40 cm;
- with observance of watering time - morning hours (before sunrise) or evening (after sunset);
- before flowering, strawberries are irrigated by sprinkling;
- after the buds appear, the plants are moistened under the root;
- planting material is watered daily for a week, then the procedures are reduced to 1 time in 3 days;
- in cool, humid weather, irrigation is not carried out.
After moistening the plants, it is recommended to loosen the soil, which provides the root system with better access to air and moisture. If the roots of old bushes are exposed on the surface of the earth, it is necessary to pour earth on them, slightly compact and moisten with water.Mulching the beds (3-5 cm layer) with shredded bark, hay, peat, etc. will help reduce the frequency of irrigation and keep the moisture of the earth, and limit the growth of weeds. Using inorganic materials, the use of film mulch is effective. The dark film coating on the beds will allow to reduce moisture evaporation on the beds to a greater extent, and maintain a stable temperature regime.
Did you know? More than 300 varieties of strawberries are grown in the world, including white varieties that resemble pineapple in taste.
Organic fertilizer dressing
From the beginning of the growing season to the beginning of fruiting, strawberries need to be fed to give plants the strength to grow and the ability to form a good crop. Spring top dressing contributes to the rapid restoration of bushes after wintering and the formation of a sufficient number of ovaries.
The use of organic fertilizers among gardeners is considered the most acceptable option, since they are an environmentally friendly and safe product. But, as practice shows, it is reasonable to combine them or alternate with mineral fertilizers.
Spring top dressing of strawberry beds occurs in three stages and at certain times:
- After brushing and trimming the bushes.
- Before flowering (period of budding).
- During flowering and first fruiting.
The first feeding. For the dynamic growth of the aerial part and the strengthening of the root system of only plants awakened after the winter, nitrogen biological additives are used - for example, such solutions:
- 200 g of bird droppings in 10 l of water insist 24 hours;
- 300 g of mullein are diluted in 10 l of water, stand for 2 days, add 1 tbsp. l ammonium sulfate;
- 25 g of urea is dissolved in a bucket of water.
The application (watering) of nitrogen-containing fertilizer is carried out directly under the root of the bush with the calculation of 0.5 l per plant.
Important! At the first feeding, for timely and abundant fruiting of strawberries, it is recommended to use nitrogen fertilizers.
The second top dressing. In order to increase the number of flower ovaries and reduce the formation of empty flowers, these types of dressings are used:
- a quarter of the bucket is filled with manure (horse, cow), add water to the top, insist 72 hours, the resulting substance is diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 4, watering the beds - 10 liters per 1 m²;
- in a bucket of water bred 2 tbsp. iodine, 5 g of boric acid, 120 g of chopped wood ash, stir, pour 500 g of liquid under a seedling.
Such funds include:
- nitroammofosk: 1 dessert spoon of the substance is sprinkled under the bush;
- 2 tbsp. nitrophosphate, 1 tbsp. potassium sulfate dissolved in 10 liters of water, the norm of irrigation is 0.5 liters per plant;
- superphosphate: contribute 30 g per 1 m²;
- potassium sulfate: 10-15 g per 1 m²;
- complex formulations: "Stimovit", "Azofoska", "Crystal", "Agricola", "Fortress" and others (use according to the instructions for use).
Mineral top dressing must be accompanied by abundant watering of plants. Each gardener, taking into account the structure of the soil, the use of the composition of fertilizers in autumn and the state of plants after wintering, individually determines the need for the use of various types of fertilizers for strawberry plants in the spring.
Pest control and disease prevention
Strawberries, unfortunately, are susceptible to many types of diseases (brown spotting, gray rot, etc.) and suffer from the invasion of insects (strawberry tick, bear, weevil, etc.). The reasons for which these unfavorable moments arise may be different: adverse weather conditions, non-compliance with the rules of agricultural technology for growing crops, planting infected planting material, use of non-sanitized garden tools, etc.
Important! It is not recommended to plant strawberries next to a raspberry patch, since the weevil is their common pest.
Therefore, the fulfillment of the basic requirements for the maintenance of plants and the adoption of timely preventive measures to protect strawberry bushes from diseases and pests plays an important role.If parasitic insects are found, urgent measures are taken to eliminate them.
Here's what to do with strawberries in the presence of the main types of pests on the beds:
- Medvedka. A malicious pest living in the soil and eating not only green mass, but also berries. Insectoacaricides - Terradox, Wofatox, Medvetsid, Rembek biological product are effective in counteracting the insect.
- Strawberry, spider web, transparent ticks. Common strawberry parasites that feed on leaf juices. Apply Fitoverm (20 g of the drug is diluted in 10 l of water) in early spring and during flowering. In the first spring days, “Karbofos” or “Phosphamide” (60 g of substance per 8 l of water) is sold for prophylaxis, and “Neoron” 10 days before flowering.The main signs of the presence of strawberry tick.
- Weevil. Dangerous dark gray bugs that can destroy the entire early crop. To combat them, the recommended means: "Confidor", "Decis", "Karbofos". Processing is carried out a week before flowering bushes. From folk methods use a decoction of onions, celandine, tansy.
Strawberries are susceptible to a number of infectious and viral diseases:
- Gray rot fruit (botritis) is a fungal disease. It is especially evident in rainy weather, in the form of gray mold on the ovaries and berries. Recommendations: spraying before flowering with the biological product “Alirin”, “Forecast”, “Zircon” (according to the instructions), Bordeaux liquid, ash infusion (150 g of substrate per 10 l of water).
- Powdery mildew. The appearance on the leaves and fruits of white plaque, which is formed due to fungal infection. At the first signs of this ailment, the Fitosporin-M biofungicide is used, according to the instructions (once every 14–20 days), Topaz, a solution of soda ash (50 g of substance per bucket of water).
- Brown spotting. Disease on the leaves in the form of brown spots caused by parasitic spores of the fungus. With severe infection, the mustache and stalk die. Productivity is reduced by 8-14%. Control measures: the use of fungicides “Chorus”, “Forecast”, “Ridomil Gold”, “Ordan”, a solution of potassium permanganate (5 g of manganese in 10-12 l of water).
Taking preventive measures to protect strawberry plantings from various ailments and parasitic insects, it is possible to reduce their spread in the garden area and even get rid of them completely.
For these purposes, it is necessary to carry out the following operations:
- follow crop rotation rules (you can’t plant strawberries in the garden where cabbage, sunflower, gourds and legumes, potatoes, onions, and pepper used to grow);
- transplant strawberries to a new site every 3-4 years;
- to disinfect planting material, agricultural equipment;
- remove diseased, infected plants from the beds;
- timely use of chemicals and folk remedies to protect plants from diseases and parasites.
Gardener Tips for Beginners
Those who began to engage in the cultivation of berry plants quite recently should take the advice of experienced gardeners:
- berry rows should be placed in the south-west of the garden plot, with good lighting and protection from the wind;
- for strawberries, choose light, loose soil; sand and peat are added to dense, heavy soil;
- the planned beds for planting in the spring must be fertilized in the fall: apply humus, compost to the soil;
- plant only healthy, disinfected specimens;
- during the growing season, remove the first mustache to enhance bush growth and abundant flowering;
- strawberry top dressing should be carried out in recommended doses using different types of fertilizers: organic, mineral, complex;
- do not use herbicides to treat the soil from weeds (the chlorine contained in them significantly reduces the yield of berries);
- use drip irrigation for planting irrigation;
- regularly carry out preventive examinations of strawberry bushes.